The Hamptons Doc Fest, now in its 17th year, was founded by filmmakers to champion and celebrate the rich, diverse and eclectic world of documentary film. Hamptons Doc Fest is the only all documentary film festival on the East End of Long Island. We aim is to bring the work of talented and inspired documentary filmmakers to new and loyal audiences. We recognize and honor film and filmmakers who deserve a closer look.

Our annual multi-day festival of ‘all docs all day’ welcomes filmmakers and documentary film lovers to the historic village of Sag Harbor, NY for screenings, discussions, panels, awards, and celebrations. In this intimate, walkable setting festival-goers enjoy the local area’s unique shops, restaurants, inns, museums, and parks. Take in the water views on Long Wharf and the Windmill aglow in holiday lights before entering Bay Street Theater. From there the newly renovated Sag Harbor Cinema, with its state-of-the-art projection and sound capabilities, is a short walk away. The inviting and friendly atmosphere of this filmmakers' festival is conducive to connecting with other filmmakers and industry professionals. Visiting film artists and guests routinely comment on how the festival is professional, welcoming, well organized and affordable.

The Hamptons Doc Fest screens approximately 30 films including features and shorts. The festival runs 7 days during the holiday season. Our mantra is 'all docs all day.' For 2024, the festival begins on December 5 and ends on December 11. Be part of it and submit your film.

The festival attracts many giants in the world of documentary film such as Matt Heinemann, Sam Pollard, Dawn Porter, Laura Poitras, Susan Lacy, Chris Hegedus, Alex Gibney, Liz Garbus, Barbara Kopple, Stanley Nelson, Jr, Sheila Nevins, Robert Kenner, Nancy Buirski, and Frederick Wiseman who come to support emerging talent and to celebrate fellow directors and producers. The festival is vibrant with the latest in documentary filmmaking news and is positioned to be a must-stop on the festival circuit.

Hamptons Doc Fest highlights include: Friday Spotlight Film and the Saturday Gala.
Our annual Saturday Gala, where we present the Pennebaker Career Achievement Award continues to honor and celebrate visionaries in the world of documentary film. As filmmakers, we stand on their shoulders. To name a few we have been honored to recognize: Sam Pollard for his monumental career as a dedicated chronicler of the black experience in America; Dawn Porter a filmmaker with a sharp-eyed, penetrating focus on truth and justice; and Robert Kenner for his 30-year insightful and compelling documentary oeuvre. Other recipients include Matt Heinemann, Richard Leacock, Susan Lacy, D A Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus, Stanley Nelson, Jr., Liz Garbus,, Sheila Nevins, and Fredrick Wiseman.

Hamptons Doc Fest promotes the festival’s mission throughout the year.
DOCS EQUINOX, an April/May 3-day festival program of invited documentary films with an environmental theme.
FILMARTS+FORUM, a 12-month outreach program that screens festival films at cultural institutions, art museums, galleries, and community centers.
YOUNG VOICES education program with media arts' workshops and in-theater screenings for local middle and high schools.

The Hamptons Doc Fest receives extensive local, county and state print coverage in newspapers and magazines such as Newsday, Southampton Press, East Hampton Press, Sag Harbor Express, East Hampton Star, Dan’s Papers, East End Beacon, James Lane Post, Shelter Island Reporter and Hamptons Magazine, Montauk Life/Hamptons Life, and Montauk Sun. HDF also receives extensive online coverage on,,,,,, Brown Harris Stevens' Weekend Guide to the Best in the Hamptons, Compass Real Estate's Hamptons Happenings, and others.
Radio interviews and TV interviews air several weeks in advance of the festival. A robust television campaign with festival spots runs on prime channels prior to and up to the festival.
HDF reaches out to many community organizations.
A consistent social media presence promotes on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, weekly E-newsletters and thru our website

HDF proudly collaborates with the undergraduate film school at Stony Brook University and the School of Visual Arts SocDoc MFA program giving first-time filmmakers a special opportunity to see their work on the big screen. Many careers are launched at our festival.

Hamptons Doc Fest presents awards in various categories, some which come with cash prizes:
Audience Award to the best documentary feature receiving the most audience ballots; Human Rights Award to a film that celebrates courage in the face of social injustice;
Art & Inspiration award to a film that embraces the vibrancy and experimentation of an artist;
Environmental Award to a film recognizing an important environmental concern;
Impact Award to a film highlighting a critical issue;
Cash prizes may range from $500 to $1000.

Hamptons Doc Fest
2024 Guidelines

Submission Deadlines:
Early Deadline May 1
Regular Deadline June 10
Late Deadline July 1

LENGTH: Shorts (1-40 minutes)
Features (over 40 minutes)

. HDF does not accept works-in-progress
. Only work completed after January 2022 will be considered
. HDF does not have a formal premiere requirement but when making final decisions, programmers take a film’s exposure into consideration and will give preference to a New York or East Coast premiere.
. HDF is not a themes competition.
Jurors will consider quality, creativity and professionalism.

SUBMISSION FORMAT: Hamptons Doc Fest accepts secure, password protected links (Vimeo, private YouTube, etc) as long as the link is not public.

EXHIBITION FORMAT: The required exhibition formats and delivery date deadlines will be confirmed by the Festival after invitations have been extended and confirmed. Please check in with the Festival staff before creating your Festival exhibition copy or copies to ensure the format and technical specifications are correct.

HDF maintains the right to keep 2 DVDs for the Festival archives and subsequent outreach programs with filmmakers approval.

FESTIVAL NOTIFICATION & EXHIBITION: Notification will be sent by email to the Primary Contact listed on the entry form by October 1, 2024.

Early Deadline: April 30, 2024 Fee: $40 per feature/$30 per short
Regular Deadline: June 10, 2024 Fee: $55 per feature/$40 per short
Late Deadline: July 1, 2024 Fee: $65 per feature/$45 per short

•FilmFreeway accepts credit card payment

By submitting this film I acknowledge that I have read and understand the Terms and Conditions set by Hamptons Doc Fest and that I am agreeing to the following:

• I have the legal right to represent and to submit this film to Hamptons Doc Fest (HDF) and to the best of my knowledge, all statements on this document are true;

• There is no action, suit, claim or proceeding pending, affecting or, to the best of my knowledge, threatened against this film or its producers in connection with this film;

RIGHTS & CLEARANCES: HDF expects all filmmakers to secure music and talent rights to their films for festival exhibition. It is the sole responsibility of the entity submitting the films to secure permission from the copyright holder of the material in question. HDF will not be held responsible for any inclusion of uncleared copyrighted materials.

• I understand and agree that my film entry, if selected for HDF, may be used for promotional purposes for HDF and and I grant HDF the rights to use footage, stills and/or titles and information from the film for such promotional purposes;

• Should this film win any award, I am authorized and/or empowered by all parties legally representing this film entry to receive all cash prizes and awards;

Hamptons Doc Fest . Box 915 . Bridgehampton, NY 11932 631-237-8055

Overall Rating
  • A wonderful festival! Full of quality films, brilliant filmmakers, and beautiful cinemas all in the charming town of Sag Harbor. It was such an honor to have our World Premiere at HDF and to be the recipient of the Human Rights Award for 2023. Thank you to Jacqui Lofaro, all of the festival coordinators, volunteers, and filmmakers who make this a top-notch festival year after year.

    December 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Heather. Your film deserved the Human Rights Award and every accolade from our audiences. Keep making films like 999: the Forgotten Girls of the Holocaust. They are important and relevant.

  • Eric Stange

    I was thrilled we got to screen our short, Pony Boys, at Hamptons Doc Fest this year. It’s one of the best festivals I’ve ever been part of, hands down. The programming is excellent – clearly the organizers value quality over quantity. I got to see remarkable films by well-known documentarians and by emerging filmmakers alike. Jacqui Lofaro, Jackie Leopold, Karen Arikian and the whole team go out of their way to introduce filmmakers to one another and foster a warm, collegial atmosphere. Unlike many festivals, films were not screened simultaneously (for the most part), so you don’t have to make those hard decisions about what to see. Julie Anderson, Andrew Botsford, Roger Sherman and others conducted insightful, informed Q-and-A sessions that hit just the right mix of insider/film business questions along with topics of interest to the audience at large. The two screening venues are both excellent, the schedule ran like clockwork, and the tech worked just as it should. The festival has enthusiastic community support, and spending a long weekend in Sag Harbor without the summer crowds is a pleasure in itself. Hamptons Doc Fest is a rewarding experience on every level!

    December 2022
  • Connie Tais

    Excellent festival! Everyone was so nice and committed to the films. Thank you to all the organizers. Very happy to have been part of it.

    May 2021
  • The Hamptons Doc team were awesome and wonderful to work with. We were thrilled to have been included in such a quality festival alongside such great films and with great filmmakers. I wish we could have been there in person and I wish we could have done some virtual panels - that would be my only criticism. The lack of festival inclusion....which I know is incredibly difficult! Congratulations to the team and Thank you for taking care of us and including us in your awesome program!

    December 2020
  • Helen Herbert

    Excellent festival! Everyone on staff was stellar and so professional. I was honored to have my short doc film screened with Hamptons Doc Fest.

    December 2020
    Response from festival:

    Thank you Helen. Your film helped make our Hamptons Doc Fest Shorts program one of the most popular ever.